Arizona’s health system performance sees significant improvement

The Commonwealth Fund recently released the 2018 Scorecard on State Health System Performance, which analyzed more than 40 measures of health care access, quality, efficiency, health outcomes and disparities.

While Arizona is ranked just below the national average at 29th overall, the state improved its overall score and its scores in all five main categories.

Baseline scores are based off data from 2012 and 2013, with a few outliers. The 2018 scores are based off data from 2015 and 2016, with a few outliers.

Overall, Arizona improved 15 indicators while only 3 indicators worsened. Another 19 indicators saw no significant change.

The three indicators that worsened were the hospital 30-day mortality rate, potentially avoidable emergency department visits for Medicare enrollees 65 and older, and the percentage of obese adults.

Arizona saw improvements in the following indicators:

  • Adults ages 19–64 uninsured
  • Children ages 0–18 uninsured
  • Adults without a usual source of care
  • Adults who went without care because of cost
  • Adults without all age-appropriate recommended vaccines
  • Medicare beneficiaries received a high-risk drug
  • Children ages 19–35 months who did not receive all recommended vaccines
  • Home health patients who did not get better at walking or moving around
  • Nursing home residents with an antipsychotic medication
  • Adults with any mental illness reporting unmet need
  • Hospital admissions for pediatric asthma, per 100,000 children
  • 0-day hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older
  • Breast cancer deaths per 100,000 female population
  • Colorectal cancer deaths per 100,000 population
  • Adults who have lost six or more teeth

Arizona also saw significant improvement in health disparity, improving all but four indicators, two of which didn’t have baseline data to compare to. The Commonwealth Fund defined disparity as the difference between the state’s low-income (under 200% of federal poverty level) and higher-income populations (over 400% of the federal poverty level).

The only two health disparity indicators that worsened were adults without all age-appropriate recommended vaccines and potentially avoidable ED visits for Medicare dual eligibles.

The complete data set for Arizona can be viewed here and the entire report can be viewed here.